Campbell Field on Virginia’s Eastern Shore
There are places that seem timeless. Places where people meet and make new friends, enjoy a meal and celebrate flight. I’m not talking about the big air shows and fly-ins, but the small airports that still foster a sense of community. Tucked away on Virginia’s eastern shore, between rows of corn, halfway between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, is Campbell Field. Here you will find a beautiful grass runway, a few old buildings, and a special magic. Campbell Field, (9VG), has been in operation since 1933. It has seen a lot of aircraft roll onto the grass runway, and a lot of changes on the eastern shore. Originally founded as Kellam Field Airport (W08), over the years it has hosted early flying services, flight schools and crop dusters. Today it is a public use airport where general aviation pilots gather, arriving in all manner of aircraft. When it is reasonably warm, and VFR conditions prevail over Virginia and Maryland, owners Gordon and Christine Campbell host a weekly fly-in event, known as Soup on Sunday. As many as three dozen aircraft, ranging from ultralights to twins, bring pilots and families to Campbell Field for a bowl of chili, hot dogs and other fly-in delicacies. Entire families, including kids and dogs, arrive starting at noon and stay until the good food and conversation fade with the afternoon sun. There is no air show, no organized program, just a place to gather, enjoy the sunshine and the community of aviators. At Campbell you are likely to see a few old friends and make some new ones. If you want to arrive early, or stay late, airplane campers are welcome at Campbell Field.
In fact, every fall a weekend fly-in/campout event is held for those who like to sleep under a wing. Camping is primitive so pack accordingly. If you would like to join the group at 9VG start by taking a look at the Campbell Field website for up to date information. At campbellfieldairport.com you will find photos of recent events, current field conditions and a “notam” advising if Soup on Sunday will take place the following week. Generally only poor weather conditions or conflicts with other aviation events will result in cancellation. On arrival unicom is 122.8. The 3000 foot grass runway is 3/21 along the highway and the elevation is 40 feet. Parking is off the north end of the runway and fuel is available 13 miles to the north at Accomack County airport. The runway is in good condition, just watch out for the power lines off the south end of the field. Campbell Field is a place where the new and the old come together to enjoy the simple pleasures of flying and community. For a few hours you can sit in the sun, watch the tailwheels and twins come and go, and take home some great memories. It is a timeless place. I can think of no better spot to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon or a better group of people to share it with.
By Michael A. Likavec